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Monday, March 15, 2010

Active bears and a brilliant blue day

We awakened to a brilliant sun underneath a blue spot in the sky. New snow from yesterday's storm draped the world in fresh and clean white powder.
Clouds floated among the snowy peaks of the Continental Divide to our west.
Low lying clouds crept down the valleys toward the flatlands.
We hiked in a finite gap in the clouds, with azure skies following over our heads.

To keep the gorgeous mountain views in sight, we took the high route, staying out of the trees and in the sunshine. The intense sun melted the snowflakes off K's head in minutes after she burrowed under snowy pine boughs.
Despite the sun, it stayed cold all day long so I took my close friend for quick and sneaky visit to the bear den. I chose today because the temperatures never rose much above freezing, making it likely that the bears would be sleepy.

We discovered that the bears hadn't been outside the den today, as no new tracks pocked yesterday's snow that carpeted the entryway to their den. When we peeked in the den, we still could see only the sow. We didn't see her yearling who was born during last year's hibernation - but he/she might have been hidden behind the sow. I started to worry about the little one.
Our remote wildlife cameras showed a quantum leap in the bears' activity over the past two weeks. To my relief, two different bears ventured outside the den numerous times. Each went outside alone, always rambling solo and staying close to the den.

Mama bear cautiously exited the den a few nights ago. We have video of her in addition to these still photos, and they show that she just ate snow on this outing.
On the following afternoon, the yearling ventured out. As the videos show (which I hope to post soon), he or she retains a young and energetic spirit, and engaged in more active outings than his mom.
Notice the white spot on the yearling's chest, the brownish and shaggy fur, and the youngster's diminutive frame. I love the footage of this little bear. I hope that I have time tomorrow to put together the many still photos and videos to show you.

My friend and I walked home full of wonder over nature and the tenaciousness of our wildlife. These amazing bears awed us.


  1. Bears have that power!

    What great shots again AND as usual!


  2. What a beautiful start to the week. And I love the wildlife visits!

  3. More, more, more!!! I'm in love with the bears now :)

  4. the yearling is so cute, and funny looking! can't wait to see the videos....
    thanks for taking me along on your hike today...once again, a highlight!!

  5. Love the sleepy face on the youngster!

  6. Hey there KB!
    What a beautiful picture (in the previous post) of K rolling in the snow!!!
    Gee...and what an amazing pic of Babybear! Truly awesome!
    I wanted to ask it possible (???) to perhaps put a "N","S","E","W" little tag somewhere near your 'view' would be nice to begin to recognise those awesome mountains by their orientation. (If not, don't worry...just a suggestion)

    Hope you are feeling well and pain-free! Don't go losing too much weight now!
    Luv C

  7. What great pictures as usual. The one of the yearling has us in love with him!

    Pugs & Kisses,

    Yoda & Brutus

  8. That baby bear is almost as cute as K! I'm glad to hear that they're both okay. Sounds like they're getting ready for Spring like the rest of us!

  9. KB your writing and photos keep getting better and better! The baby is so cute (as is K of course) and the scenery is grand. This is better than a cup of coffee to get my morning started. Now I have to go train. Maybe I can keep from getting frustrated with my students now.

  10. I love the photo of Junior Bear, all shaggy and sleepy looking. Also the earlier photo of a happiest K rolling in the snow. Your hikes and the wildlife are giving a whole new meaning to Spring for me!

    Cheers and hugs,

    Jo and Stella

  11. That little guy sure does look like he just woke up from a long nap. I was surprised to see the white hairs on his face - for a little while, I thought he was an old bear because of that!

    I can't wait to see the rest of the photos and videos.

  12. Just breathtaking to see the beautiful (huge) country and its wildlife in rightful place! LOVE the yearling cub!!! OMdogness, is he(?) ever adorable and even vulnerable appearing. That must be part of his wonderful appeal - can't wait to see the vid, if it's not too time-consuming. I know what a big job so many days of filming must be - wow! And how are YOU feeling? Hope you are feeling better and better a bit each day.
    Hugs xoxoxo
    Sammie and mom

  13. That yearling is just TOO CUTE. What a face!

    On a side note, do you ever worry about the glare from the sun & snow on the pups eyes? Ginko has Doggles, but he never really got comfortable wearing them.

  14. Love those after-the-storm days! Beautiful shots. K has that amazing warmth (to stay close) and adventure (let's GO!) look.
    Quite neat to see the bears venturing out. Love the cub sleepy fur look! :)

    Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
    Sierra Rose

  15. What great pictures. I especially like K sporting the half snow-head.

    It's so exciting to see the cub out of the den. He does have a youngster look to him. I can't wait to see the videos!

  16. Oh, look at those skies, and that sun, and the glorious snow - we aren't sure which we want you to send our way, but anything would be better than this dreary cloudiness we have. Beautiful photos. And the bears - won't be long now.

    Woos - Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  17. Oh, so beautiful...the mountains, the sky and your lovely buddy. The bears have been such a treat to watch. I can't wait for the video. How lucky that you stumbled upon them and then set up the camera for all of us to enjoy.

  18. Wow! What an incredible beautiful and with bears, even! Thank you for stopping by my blog to wish mom a happy day. You made mom smile and helped a puppy in need! You have a kind heart!

  19. You have absolutely glorious photos of a lovely day, KB! I'm getting my mountain fix from them. That yearling is a cutie - you'll be able to recognize it with that white patch on the chest.


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